Back on Sunday (July 5), I blogged about Joe Biden’s “loose lips” statements that seemed to many Middle Easterners to give Israel a green light to attack Iran.
I ended the post saying,
- Obama now needs to go to some lengths, first to clearly restate that any Israeli strike against Iran is perilous for US lives and interests, and second, to try to get Biden to be a lot more disciplined when he speaks about momentous matters in the future.
Yesterday, Pres. Obama went forcefully on the record to (re-)state that,
- “It is the policy of the United States to try to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear capabilities in a peaceful way through diplomatic channels.”
From my lips to Obama’s (interestingly sized) ears? Well, maybe, one way or the other.
Of course, a few other Americans also made the same appeal to Obama about Biden’s statement. Including Marc Lynch, who wrote Sunday,
- the administration urgently needs to come forward quickly with a restatement of its policy — and make sure the Israelis and others in the region understand it clearly — or else it risks paying some extraordinarily serious costs.
Marc also did a good job there in pulling together the bad effects the Biden statement was already having by then, within the Arabic and Hebrew-language discourse in the Middle East. Which, as I’ve argued elsewhere, is a very important part of the audience for any US leadership pronouncements on matters in that region. (That is, it actually matters a lot more how Israelis, Arabs, and Iranians themselves interpret such statements than it matters whether Juan Cole or others of us here in the US might manage to massage– or not– Biden’s words into a more ‘reasonable’ interpretation.)